ACT & Psychological Flexibility in Chronic Pain and Physical Health: A Practical Workshop

Lance M. McCracken, Ph.D.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014 | 8:00am – 4:30pm
Delta Winnipeg (350 St. Mary Ave.)

Sponsored by:


Speaker Bio

Dr. Lance M. McCracken is Professor of Behavioural Medicine at King’s College London. He is also a Consultant Clinical Psychologist and the Psychology Lead at the INPUT pain management center at St Thomas’ Hospital in London. He is on the editorial board of Health Psychology, Journal of Behavioural Medicine, European Journal of Pain, Pain Management, The Journal of Pain, BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, cognitive Therapy and Research, and British Journal of Pain. He has published more than 150 scientific papers and chapters, and two books. For more than 20 years his primary research interests have focused on treatment developments for chronic pain, and more recently on psychological flexibility, and contextual behavioural science.


Potential treatment processes in the behavioral and cognitive therapies are more diverse than they used to be. It seems that once new psychological variables and potential treatment targets are developed they are essentially never set aside – all we do is create more. Much of the recent expansion includes processes of acceptance, values, awareness, and flexible engagement. The therapy types that aim to instill these processes in behavior are now numerous: Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), Functional Analytic Psychotherapy (FAP), Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), and others.

A term that might summarize these separate approaches might be to call them Contextual Cognitive Behavioral Therapies or CCBT. These therapies are relatively distinctive in the processes they target and in another respect. In order to create the radical changes these therapies are designed to achieve, these processes need to appear on both sides of the therapeutic interaction. In other words these treatments are most effective when both the provider and the receiver of treatment increasingly reflect the same acceptance, clear values, awareness, and flexible engagement in their behavior.

This workshop will focus on practical methods for developing these qualities in our behavior and in others, organized primarily around the model of psychological flexibility, the model underlying Acceptance and Commitment therapy. It will also focus mostly on chronic pain and other physical health applications, areas where these approaches are well-developed and where they have significant evidence.

Learning Objectives

Participants in this workshop will…

  1. Gain a basic conceptual understanding of the psychological flexibility model.
  2. Understand the current level of evidence for Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) for chronic pain and related conditions.
  3. Obtain experience in applying experiential methods for increasing psychological flexibility in our own and others’ behaviour.

Tentative Program Schedule

08:00 – Registration & Breakfast
09:00 – Workshop begins
10:30 – Break
12:00 – Luncheon (served on-site)
13:00 – Workshop continues
14:30 – Break
16:30 – Concluding remarks

Registration has ended for this event


  • Up to and including May 2, 2014: Full refund minus 10%.
  • After May 2, 2014: No refund for cancelled registration.
  • MPS reserves the right to cancel the conference at any time due to unforeseen circumstances.
  • Liability is limited to refund of conference fee only.
  • Early registration must be postmarked before May 3, 2014.